A Day to Remember in NYC

 

Introducing: 100 Things to Do This Summer in New York City

We’re here to help you find the best ways to spend your time in New York City. So, as we encounter these warmer days together, with each post we’ll let you know about upcoming events, shows, festivals, and opportunities in the city this summer.

Memorial Day. It’s a day to remember. Fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters. Daughters and sons. The United States military is filled with everyday people who do extraordinary things, many with the emotional and physical scars of battle, and some who never made it home.  Over land, sea, and air they display their courage, skill, and perseverance, embodying in their service the spirit of freedom and equality that make the United States of America a country worth protecting.

We continue our list of 100 Things to Do in New York City This Summer with this rundown of great events happening on Memorial Day.

 

Memorial Day Parades, May 29
Douglaston Memorial Day Parade — Believed to be the largest Memorial Day parade in the country, the Douglaston Memorial Day Parade begins in Queens at 2pm. This year is the 90th anniversary of the parade, and it’s never missed a year marching to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Douglaston Memorial Day Parade takes place along Northern Boulevard with opening and closing ceremonies taking place at the Divine Wisdom/St. Anastasia schoolyard in Douglaston.

 

Brooklyn’s Memorial Day Parade — For 150 years Brooklyn’s Memorial Day Parade has honored the sacrifice of those who’ve lost their lives in service to our country. Veterans, bands, civic and corporate groups, schools and church groups, and motorcycle clubs will all be on hand to commemorate the day. The parade starts at 11 a.m. on 3rd Avenue and 75th Street and runs along 3rd Avenue to Marine Avenue, then up to 4th Avenue. It ends at John Paul Jones Park with a memorial service.

Fleet Week

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen at Fleet Week from May 24 – 30. More than 5,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are expected to participate. Witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services. Tour ships at locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Watch as the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) conducts a search and rescue demonstration via helicopter at Homeport Pier. And see U.S. Navy and Marine Corps displays of aviation and equipment at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. There will be numerous exhibits, military band concerts, and demonstrations throughout the week.

 

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Adventure Awaits in NYC

Introducing: 100 Things to Do This Summer in New York City

Sure, there are more than that, but you want the best. We’re here to help you find the best ways to spend your time in New York City. So we’ll be posting here on our blog over the coming months letting you know about upcoming events, shows, festivals, and opportunities in the city this summer.

Don’t think New York City is for outdoor enthusiasts? Think again. We may not have mountain peaks or uncharted forests, but that doesn’t stop New Yorkers from finding adventure.

In NYC, we don’t wait for adventure to happen. We create it. All over the city. From Central Park to Times Square and Lower Manhattan, adventure awaits. Here you can test your limits, find new and exciting outlets for your energy, and explore the Big Apple, all at the same time.

Solstice in Times Square: Mind Over Madness Yoga

Can one of the world’s busiest crossroads become an oasis of peace? Find out on June 21, with Solstice in Times Square: Mind Over Madness Yoga. On the longest day of the year, thousands of people from all over the world will celebrate Summer Solstice with free yoga classes in the heart of New York City, less than two blocks from the Washington Jefferson Hotel. Whether you’re a lifetime yoga practitioner or just want to try something new, it’s sure to be an enlightening experience. Multiple classes will take place throughout the day.

When: Wednesday, June 21, 2017, various class times
Where: Times Square
Getting there: Time Square is just a short walk from the Washington Jefferson Hotel.

Adventures NYC

This city may not have wilderness, but we still have adventure, and this one is free! Adventures NYC is coming to Central Park on on Saturday, June 18. Join NYC Parks and to celebrate the great outdoors with rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, obstacle races, and more fun outdoor challenges. There will be free valet parking for bikes, and you’ll be able to browse the latest outdoor gear with vendor booths on site.

When: Saturday, June 17, 2017, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Central Park
Getting there: From the Washington Jefferson Hotel, it’s a easy walk up 8th Ave, through Columbus Circle, into Central Park.

Bike Expo New York

The nation’s most popular bike expo is free and open to the public. Bike Expo New York acts as the unofficial opening ceremony for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour. Join more than 60,000 cycling enthusiasts at Basketball City to see the latest in leg-powered, two-wheel technology and innovation. More than 100 exhibitors will be on hand with sales, product demos, giveaways, panels, contests, and entertainment.

When: May 5 – 6, 2017
Where: Pier 36 at Basketball City
Getting there: Lower Manhattan is about a 20- to 25-minute ride south from the Washington Jefferson.

Create Your Own Adventure

Enjoy complimentary bikes when you book direct with us at the Washington Jefferson Hotel. Experience a ride through Central Park with a wide variety of high-quality and well-maintained bicycles. Central Park Tours provides guides who will accompany you on your journey through the most fascinating urban park in the United States.

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A Legendary Celebration in Tribeca

This spring — as with every other since 2002 — while much of the country celebrates blossoming flowers, new foliage, and the return of perennial greenery, New Yorkers will relish in a fresh film landscape at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here, too, perennial favorites are celebrated, and this year’s centerpiece is a legendary film celebrating its 40th anniversary.

In 1990, the Library of Congress selected The Godfather for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry. It is ranked by the American Film Institute as the one of the greatest films ever made, second only (in their estimation) to Citizen Kane.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Tribeca Film Festival will offer back-to-back screenings of  The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. The screenings will be followed by a rare cast-and-crew reunion. Fans will experience a once-in-a-lifetime panel discussion with Academy Award®-winning director Francis Ford Coppola and actors Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Robert De Niro.

And, no surprise, Tribeca isn’t the only film festival coming soon. Here’s a rundown of some of the festivals bringing a fresh crop of thought-provoking and captivating films to New York this spring.

Tribeca Film Festival

It’s more than movies. The Tribeca Film Festival has grown to include virtual reality and interactive installations, live music events, the Tribeca ESPN Sports Film Festival, and free panels for working and aspiring filmmakers. Opening night will feature the world premiere of Chris Perkel’s documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives at Radio City Music Hall, followed by a special concert with Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Speaking of world premieres, James Ponsoldt’s The Circle, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, will also makes its debut.

Anniversary retrospectives will include the 25th anniversary of Aladdin, the 15th anniversary of Bowling for Columbine followed by a conversation with Academy Award®-winning director Michael Moore, and the 25th anniversary of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, which will include a post-screening conversation with Tarantino and members of the cast.

The Tribeca Film Festival happens April 19 – 30.

Harlem International Film Festival

The Harlem International Film Festival is about unique experiences and perspectives. In fact, it is itself is a unique experience that offers you the ability to learn from diverse perspectives. Taking place May 4 – 7, HIFF screens films by anyone about anything under the sun and integrates the best of Harlem’s food, music, and movies into an incredible four-day experience. View documentaries, shorts, animation, youth projects, episodic work, and cutting edge music videos along with panel discussions, the Hi Honors, and the Renaissance Awards gala.

Philip K. Dick Film Festival

The late science fiction author Philip K. Dick has surged into the pop-culture consciousness lately due to his novel, The Man in the High Castle, becoming a two-time Emmy Award®-winning TV series produced by Amazon. Founded in 2012, the Philip K Dick Film Festival is an outlet for independent science fiction filmmakers to showcase their work. The festival also screens science documentaries. If you’re looking for weird, independent, and a lot of “what if …” scenarios, this festival is a lot of fun. Check it out May 18 – 21 at Village East Cinema, a short ride south from the Washington Jefferson Hotel. quick ride north from the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

Art of the Real

A showcase for groundbreaking documentaries, Art of the Real is celebrating its fourth year of bringing together innovative voices in nonfiction filmmaking. This year will feature a tribute to the late Brazilian filmmaker Andrea Tonacci, along with titles from Ignacio Agüero, Jem Cohen, Robinson Devor, and the late Michael Glawogger. You’ll also be able to view films from newcomers Theo Anthony (Rat Film), Salomé Jashi (The Dazzling Light of Sunset), and Shengze Zhu (Another Year). Art of the Real happens April 20 to May 2 at Lincoln center.

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The Many Melodies of NYC

Before blockbuster movies. Before social media hysteria. Before Netflix binges. There was music. It’s the original escape. In a city that blends so many unique cultures, New York’s music scene is a vibrant tapestry of nearly endless exploration.

Stay here long enough and you’ll hear music of every category, era, and culture.

There are some great concert experiences coming this spring. Even if you don’t speak the language, you’ll feel the spirit; even if the melody or instruments are foreign, you’ll hear the heart.

Music in NYC offers a pure opportunity to transcend differences and connect with others in a common experience. So, silence that phone, look up, and escape the noise.

SummerStage

It’s the largest free performing arts festival in the city. SummerStage gives you a taste of artists from all the diverse cultures and communities of the city’s five boroughs. While the dates for SummerStage 2017 have yet to be announced, this is definitely an event you’ll want to plan for, so consider this a friendly reminder. Take it from the New York Times: “In a city happily inundated with summertime cultural offerings, the SummerStage festival stands alone for its dizzying array of options, its local enthusiasm, and its general aura of awe.”

Mozart: Don Giovanni

Isabel Leonard as Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Photo by Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera.

Produced by Michael Grandage, this take on Mozart’s classic blends lighthearted, urbane, and ironic elements to create a story in which you may find new and surprising insights. The Met’s production rotates three singers in the lead role: Simon Keenlyside, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Mariusz Kwiecien. Fabio Luisi and Plácido Domingo conduct. Follow the Don Giovanni and comic sidekick, Leporello, as infamous womanizer seduces brides-to-be and eventually suffers both earthly and eternal consequences. This legendary opera, sung in Italian, is playing at The Metropolitan Opera House, just a few blocks north of the Washington Jefferson Hotel
, through May 11.

Queens New Music Festival

The four-day Queens New Music Festival returns May 19 – 21 at the Secret Theatre. The festival promotes new music, offering composers, musicians, and ensembles living and working in Queens a platform to share their creations. Artists from other parts of New York City and the country are also included. The festival is produced by Random Access Music and will satisfy an array of musical tastes with its mix of new sounds, sub genres, and classic elements.

 

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Love, Adventure, and Mysterious Connections Come to Broadway

On broadway

What will you find in New York City? Connection. New friends. And maybe some old ones too. You never know who you’ll run into or the adventures you’ll find yourself on.

Six degrees of separation — an idea put forth by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929 — fascinated the world with the realization that we’re all probably a lot closer to each other than we think. And here at the “crossroads of the world”  in New York City, who knows, it may be three or four degrees of separation.

Karinthy was a playwright, so it’s fitting that his idea came into the popular consciousness in the form of a stage play in 1990. And this spring, Six Degrees of Separation returns to Broadway along with two other stories that will capture and transport you.

The chances you’ll run into a friend (or the friend of a friend) at the theater? We’d say they’re pretty good.

Best of

Six Degrees of Separation

Six Degrees of Separation

The West Wing. American Beauty. The Help. And the CBS sitcom Mom. Allison Janney has appeared in some powerhouse TV shows and films and won seven Emmy Awards® for her trouble. Now Janney is returning to Broadway to lead the revival of John Guare’s iconic drama Six Degrees of Separation. Enter the story of Ouisa and Flan Kittredge, a wealthy New York couple who take in their son’s friend only to find that things are not as they appear. Previews begin April 5 and the show opens April 25 just at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

Anastasia

Anastasia

Witness the Broadway debut of the new musical Anastasia. Tony Award®-winning director Darko Tresnjak brings this classic romantic adventure to life. Journey to the past, into the twilight of the Russian Empire and the bustle of 1920s Paris. Brave Anastasia is determined to solve the mystery of her past and thwart the Soviet officer who’s determined to silence her. Previews begin March 23 and the official opening is April 24 at the Broadhurst Theatre.

Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon

Also making a return to Broadway for its first revival is Miss Saigon. Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical is fresh off its smash run in London. Acclaimed stars Eva Noblezada and Alistair Brammer, who thrilled London audiences with their portrayal of a young Vietnamese woman and American G.I. who fall in love during the Vietnam War, have hit the ground running in the U.S. Previews began on March 1 and opening night is March 23 at the Broadway Theatre.

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Sipping in the City

New York City. If it’s anything, it’s delicious.

For every exclusive New York dish, every plate filled with the city’s best fare, there’s a drink to match. Even if you already have a favorite drink, in Manhattan you’ll probably find a new one. Or two.

With so many places, tastes, sights, and sounds to explore, now all you need is time and a plan. Well, we can’t give you more time, but here are some really solid plans.  

So, what’ll it be?

NYC Whiskey Walk

Eight whiskeys. Eight bars. Imbibe Ireland’s premium whiskeys and enjoy time with food and friends. The day starts at 12pm, ends at 10pm, and brings you to some of New York’s best bars. A portion of all proceeds goes to local charities, including Free Arts NYC.

It really is a walk, too: all of the bars are within easy walking distance of each other. There’s no better way to prepare for St. Patrick’s day. The NYC Whiskey Walk happens on March 4th.

Good Spirits 2017

Enjoy new and classic cocktails paired with delicious food prepared by up-and-coming chefs. The Good Spirits National Tour comes to New York City on March 2nd. Start out with a tried-and-true drink, then move on to drinks just making their debut. Or vice versa. There aren’t really any rules here. Just have fun, drink responsibly, and enjoy celebrated local, national, and international spirit brands prepared by talented mixologists.

NYC Craft Beer Festival

The NYC Craft Beer Festival is happening March 24th and 25th. Take your pick between 75 breweries and 150 craft beers. All tickets allow entry into the Metropolitan Pavilion for a session of unlimited beer tasting. And if you’re looking for some extra flavor, the VIP ticket option gets you another hour, exclusive beer tastings not available on the general floor, and access to the VIP Lounge. Your complimentary souvenir tasting glass ensures the tasting can continue even when the festival ends.

NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting

If wine is more your style, here’s the event for you. Meet New York winemakers and taste the fruit of their labor with more than 200 wines to choose from. Pair each one with local cheeses, charcuterie, and other hors d’oeuvres. Over 40 wineries will be represented as you take a relaxing and flavorful stroll through the Alman Building on March 7th from 6 to 8pm. Learn more here.

NY Cocktail Expo

Not just cocktails, the cocktails to discover and savor. The NY Cocktail Expo brings to you face to face with the top New York City cocktail bars, including Dutch Kills, Station House, Sweet Afton, The Bonnie, Cork & Kerry, and more. This event is new — the first expo was held in April 2016 — but it’s already proven that it’s here to stay with sell-out crowds and the top mixologists at every event. The next one is at the Beer Garden at Bohemian Hall in Queens on March 12.

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5 Tips for Enjoying the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

nyc st patricks day parade

It’s a parade older than the United States itself. Every March since 1762, the Irish have paraded through the streets of New York, embedding this tradition into the fabric of the city.

It has endured through two centuries, the switch from monarchy to democracy, countless economic ups and downs, and every generation since the founding of the country.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of one of the nation’s most historic parades:

1. Know the basics
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade can be viewed along 5th Avenue between 44th Street and 79th Street from 11am to 5pm. (If you’re looking a for “plan b” in case there’s bad weather, the parade can also be seen live on NBCNewYork.com beginning at 11:00 a.m.)

2. Get the best view
If you want the best views, simply arrive early to get close to the street (and bring a good book). If you’re staying with us at the Washington Jefferson all parts of 5th Avenue are a quick drive (or walk) away.

3. See the city
However, if the weather’s nice, this would be a great opportunity for a walk. From the Washington Jefferson, 5th Avenue is less than a mile away by foot. Plus, depending on what part of 5th Avenue you’re headed, your journey can take you through much of Central Park.

4. Pack some snacks
Restaurants along the parade route will likely be jammed, so plan ahead and bring some snacks along. If you forget and need to eat on the go, look for vendors inside Central Park for some quick and easy options.

5. When you gotta go…  
Be prepared. There aren’t any portable restrooms on the parade route, so have a plan for when nature calls. (Or just take your mother’s advice for once and go before you leave for the parade.) If none of that works, there are public bathrooms in Bryant Park, near the 59th Street entrance to Central Park.

As for some bonus tips: unfortunately no pets or alcohol are allowed along the parade route, but there are plenty of bars along the way. So enjoy the parade, then celebrate with a pint after. Sláinte!

nyc st patricks

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Two Classics Coming to Broadway in March

When the Lunt-Fontanne theater opened in 1910, it had a retractable roof to keep guests cool.

And the Shubert theater holds the record for longest-running show in Broadway history. Between 1975 and 1990 A Chorus Line, which totaled an incredible 6,137 performances.

Point being: when you’re in this neighborhood, you’re surrounded by history, thousands of stories, little quirks, surprising facts, and incredible talent.

Both theater, along with the rest of Broadway, are minutes away from our front door. And both have extraordinary and classic shows about to open (unlike the Lunt-Fontanne’s roof, which, you’ll be happy to hear, is now forever closed).

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

charlie and the chocolate factory on broadway

You know the story. Or do you? Experience this classic in a whole new way. Charlie, Grandpa Joe, Willy Wonka and all the other unforgettable characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are coming to the Lunt-Fontanne Theater in a new musical. The show stars two-time Tony Award® winner Christian Borle as Wonka himself and is directed by three-time Tony Award-winning director Jack O’Brien. You’ll hear all the beloved songs from the original film, including “Pure Imagination” and “The Candy Man,” alongside a brand new score from the Grammy® and Tony-winning songwriters of Hairspray, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Previews begin March 28th and the show officially opens April 23rd.

Hello, Dolly! Starring Bette Midler

Don’t miss Bette Midler’s return to Broadway in the classic Hello, Dolly! Midler will star in the title role as Dolly Levi — a widow, matchmaker, and world-class meddler. When Dolly tries to find a match for herself … things get interesting! This is the show’s first time back to Broadway since 1995, and it will also star Tony Award-winner David Hyde Pierce, whose most famous role was that of the psychiatrist Dr. Niles Crane on the NBC sitcom Frasier. The show is bursting with timeless songs, including “Before the Parade Passes By,” “It Only Takes a Moment,” “Put on Your Sunday Clothes,” and the title number, “Hello, Dolly!”

Previews begin March 15th and the show officially opens April 20th.

 

 

 

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NYC Restaurant Week

New York City is known for the variety of food and restaurant offerings. Whether you are in the mood for a vegan burger or a nice juicy large steak here in NYC you will always find a place that serves what you want. The city has many options to choose from, but sometimes these beautiful and delicious places may be out of our budget. Restaurant week starting January 18 to February 5th is a great way to try all those places you had in mind without breaking the bank. Restaurants like Le Cirque and ABC Kitchen which can cost big bucks on a regular night offer a three course menu at the low cost of 25 dollars per lunch and 38 dollars per dinner. This is an opportunity not to be missed since it only happens twice a year with over 350 participating restaurants. Below you will find some of our favorite participating restaurants.

Triomphe Restaurant

Triomphe offers an intimate upscale setting in Midtown near the Theater District. Their seasonal menu, great service and delicious French contemporary cuisine make this place memorable. Great time to try it out is during restaurant week, and make sure you have a reservation since the place has only 18 tables and a busy pre-theater crowd.

Ai Fiori

Ai Fiori offers a traditional Italian cuisine with a modern twist, a classy laid back ambiance and the talented chef Michael White is what has made this restaurant a gem in the city. The food is absolutely delicious with a tasteful presentation. They serve restaurant week with a purpose and that is to show guests what quality food really is.

Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro

If you like cheese or French food than this is the place for you. After two visits at this restaurant and both times equally impressed it is easy to say this place has what it takes to be great in a city of 16 thousand restaurants. The truffle cheese fondue is exquisite.

Aureole-Liberty Room

This fine dining American cuisine restaurant with frequent diners such as Ana Wintour is a must try. Aureole is beautifully decorated, located in the middle of Times Square and offers an innovative seasonal menu and a classy ritzy ambiance. This is a pricey and exclusive restaurant perfect time to try it is during restaurant week.

Le Cirque

Le Cirque has been around for almost 40 years and they have never failed to impress with their luxurious décor, fancy French style presentations and incredible service. Whether you have heard of their name in movies or passed by this restaurant is a must try.

For more information and restaurant week options please visit: http://www.nycgo.com/restaurant-week

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Holiday Season in NYC

New York comes alive for the holidays, and The Washington Jefferson Hotel’s convenient Times Square location offers access to the many timeless Christmas events in New York. From classics like George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, to massive celebrations like the Times Square Ball Drop, the best holiday events are here for you to enjoy. During your stay at our Midtown hotel, take advantage of our special offers to earn more perks during your trip to New York.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

  • December 2nd, 2015
  • Rockefeller Plaza

Rockefeller Center’s famous Christmas Tree comes alight on Wednesday, December 2nd. Live performances occur from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Arrive early to gain a good view of the tree. Hundreds will crowd the sidewalks, while even more watch the event live on NBC. If you miss the tree lighting, you can still see its Christmas lights until 8 p.m. on January 6th, 2016.

The Nutcracker

  • November 27th, 2015 to January 3rd, 2016
  • The New York City Ballet, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza

Witness the version that originated the beloved classic. George Balanchine’s Nutcracker features an iconic score from Tschaikovsky, the enchanting Land of Sweets, and a whirlwind of ballerinas doing dazzling dances. The New Yorker calls this “the mother of all Nutcrackers.” All members of the The New York City Ballet, including 90 dancers, 62 musicians, 32 stagehands and two casts of 50 young students from the School of American Ballet, come together to create a world-class production.

Radio City Musical Hall’s Christmas Spectacular

  • November 13th, 2015 to January 3rd, 2016
  • Radio City Music Hall

A dazzling display of Christmas cheer and enthusiasm. The Rockettes, a New York institution, make their Christmas Spectacular more stunning every year. With elaborate costumes, breathtaking choreography, and big spectacles, The Rockettes put on a family-friendly show that entertains kids and adults alike. On Santa Hat Days, audience members get a complimentary Santa hat during the performance.

Times Square Ball Drop

  • December 31st, 2015
  • Times Square

The essential way to ring in the New Year. Every year, thousands of revelers arrive in Times Square to witness the Ball Drop. Join them for a memorable evening. The festivities are even better in person than on television. Our hotel near Times Square places you seconds away from the holiday festivities. Start 2016 by attending the biggest New Year’s party in the world.

Holiday Windows

Every year during the holiday season each major department store in New York City puts up holiday themed window displays. Each window tells a story that will keep you gazing for a long time and make holiday shopping a memorable experience. The must see windows are: Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Henry Bendel, Tiffany and Co, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Lord & Taylor.

 

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